It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No… It’s… THE OLLAM!
Howdy, howdy, howdy! I’m back, and I am going to help you guys out with the most difficult aspect of my previous post: Character.
Anyone who that has taken a reading or English class undoubtedly heard the terms of protagonist, antagonist, supporting character, or even archenemy. Mis amigos, there are far more than just these four types of characters…
Lesson time! To assist in this little show-and-tell, I am going to use the one and only, my favorite fiction character of all time: PERCY JACKSON. (PJ IS PERF, DON’T JUDGE ME. Judge the movies, though. They sucked. Logan Lerman does a good job playing PJ, however…)
A protagonist is, of course, the main character, and has a clear conflict with an enemy, the antagonist. Also, s/he has a downfall. Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, is the protagonistt of the entire series of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” written by Uncle Rick (‘scuse me, Rick Riordan). However, as shown in the equally-amazing spin-off series, “Heroes of Olympus,” Percy is not the only protagonist; there are six other characters serving as protagonists.
The antagonist of the PJ&tO series is the Titan King, Kronos. The antagonist (or as shown in the previous type, it could be multiple antagonists) is the arch-nemesis of the protagonist(s), and usually is the trouble-maker.
Here is a character you have probably never heard of before: the deuteragonist. S/he is the second most important character of the story. In PJ&tO, our deuteragonist is Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena (I ship Percabeth 100%). A deuteragonist can be for or against the protagonist!
Another one you probably haven’t heard of is the tritagonist. Notice that prefix of “tri-.” This is the third most important character, and like the deuteragonist, s/he can be for or against the protagonist. Our tritagonist of PJ&tO is Percy’s BFFFL, the satyr Grover. In the spin-off series, HoO, he becomes a supporting character, as he is not as essential to the conflict at hand as he used to be *cue the frowny face*.
An interesting thing about Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Kronos are that they could be defined as stock characters. A stock character is that cliché person that you see ALL THE TIME. PJ is the usual, weaker, unpopular kid that has the funny friend (Grover) and gets the badass hot chick on campus (Annabeth) and has to battle an evil that is older that the General Sherman sequoia (Kronos). See that cliché there? Yep. All writers use stocks.
There are a couple you may not have heard of… It is the anti-villain, and the anti-hero. The anti-hero is more common than the anti-villain. Now, these two types of characters are exactly what they seem to be.
The anti-hero (for example, Luke Castellan from PJ&tO and Octavian from HoO) is a character who is initially good, but has some darker ulterior motive. The anti-villain is a character who is, in opposition to an anti-hero, initially bad, but still has a crumb of a heart left. The best example available in the PJ&tO series is Ethan Nakamura, son of Nemesis. He fights for big-bad Kronos, but he is doing it for his mother, who is unrecognized by the gods. Another example of an anti-villain that may seem more prominent and far more recognizable is the one and only Magneto, the anti-villain antagonist of the X-Men Universe, created by the Marvel God Stan Lee. He is destructive, yes, but he does it for the good of his fellow mutants.
One thing that one must remember is that there is such a thing as characterization.
Explicit characterization is a straight-up biography, and one can learn exactly what the character is like on the spot. The Implicit characterization is far more difficult, but fun. The character of Death in Markus Zusak’s amazing historical fiction story The Book Thief is in my eyes the perfect example of a character that is described implicitly. PERF.
To further characterize your peeps, you have to decide: round or flat, static or dynamic?
A round character is the basic stereotypical nagging girlfriend, complex and deep. The flat character is the simplistic stereotyped boyfriend that does the same thing 24/7.
A dynamic character is the one that is “reborn”, and changes throughout the story. The static, as you can guess is the one that stays the same. Writers, aren’t you glad that there are such people in this world?
Now, if you happen to be a budding scribe of lovely fictional tales, here is an idea. Before you begin the process, pick out a good book, like The Book Thief, and analyze the characters. What is his/her position? How is s/he characterized? Is s/he round or flat? Dynamic or static?
If you do this, I believe it will help you in creating the characters and their personalities.
Happy Aanalyzing, My Guap-Filled Writer Homies!
– The Ollam
Photo Creds: PJ&tO Pic from spinoff.comicbookresources.com
Magneto Pic from huffingtonpost
Cookie Cutter Pic from coppergifts.com